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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Are clothes lines passe? January 15, 2007 9:51 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, House, Of Being Dad
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Yup. The dryer has died a horrible death. It would seem the heating element has gone out. That means we have two dryers in the basement without a means to dry clothes. The quandary! Do I repair one dryer, two dryers, or no dryers? I could get environmentally sound and setup a clothes line behind the house. I think perhaps I’ll do some shopping today. Considering the dryer is over 10 years old and runs almost 24/7 I think it has served its time.

Update: The heating element will be available for $57.06 tomorrow but Dave’s Repair suggests that I am skipping a couple of troubleshooting steps. It could simply be that our dryer vent is blocked (anyone thinking squirrel?) or that our circuit isn’t providing 240V. Hehehe! Whar’s my meter?! The parts supply store also explained that a new dryer isn’t likely to be that much more energy efficient that the efficiency comes from how well it heats.

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1. Cathy - January 15, 2007

It used to take two full hours to dry one load and now it makes no heat at all and a new dryer wouldn’t be more efficient?!?

2. JayMonster - January 15, 2007

1. You don’t say if it is gas or electric dryer. But note while a gas model is usually a few dollars cheaper it is half the price to actually run it.

2. If Cathy’s estimates are right, that is one awful dryer, and I find it hard to believe that a new one wouldn’t be more energy (and hence running cost) efficient. A “normal” load in a normal dryer should take about an hour… if it is taking two, you are using twice the power your should.

3. The repair may get you going short term, but …

3. JayMonster - January 15, 2007

Oh, and to answer the question… clothes lines are NOT passe. Not in the summertime anyway. But in January? uh… yup. THAT is passe. 🙂

4. djuggler - January 15, 2007

We don’t get the luxury of gas here. The dryer is electric. I would wager the two hours to dry one load is a symptom of the problem (clogged vent and/or bad heating element).

We are about due for a new washer/dryer combo but I was hoping to limp along just a bit more.

5. jonathan hickman - January 15, 2007

Clothes line in the winter is Cathy Bates in Dolores Claiborne.

6. James - January 15, 2007

“two full hours to dry one load ” sounds like you put too much in it, think of it like this, you have a mass of wet clothes and the centre will take the longest to dry, try taking the clothes out after 30 mins then seperate the clothes then pop them back in and you should now have a mix of damp & semi dry clothes, the heat in the semi dry clothes will help to dry the wetter ones.

Also when you have washed the clothes in the washing machine give them an extra spin, you be amazed how much extra water you can get out of the clothes.

In our house there are three adults, we load the washing machine to 3/4 full then do a wash, then do an extra spin, then the clothes only had 30 mins to dry in the dryer

7. Cathy - January 15, 2007

A single pair of jeans took more than half an hour before it stopped heating completely.

“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.”

8. JayMonster - January 17, 2007

James may be on to something. We had a problem with our washer a while ago. The pipe was partially clogged on the water output from the washer, hence the spin cycle was leaving the clothes a bit more wet than normal. Once we cleared the trap, the water flowed better and the spin worked better.

9. djuggler - January 17, 2007

Turned out the heating element was fine. I got into it and tested parts. The high level thermal fuse (340 degrees C) was blown which is indicative of a) age, b) bad air flow. Our vent was pretty clogged which would also result in longer dry times. For good measure I replaced the thermostat near the heating element. The other two sensors I did not replace.

I inquired about the efficiency of a new dryer and had it explained to me that a dryer’s efficiency is in how well it heats and that new dryers really are not any more efficient than old dryers. What makes new dryers seem more efficient are new washers. Newer washers…ala James…spin more water out and make less work for the dryer giving the impression that the new dryers are better than old dryers.

Also learned, clean your dryer vents often. The stuff on the dryer sheets build up on the lint trap making it less efficient. Periodically scrub it. Remove your vent tube from the back of the dryer periodically and let the shop vac get some lint out. Make sure the tube is not crimped. Go outside and make sure the vent is working well and not clogged.

Total repair cost: $24. Time: probably excessive…yes Tim.

10. Tim - January 17, 2007

hehe

11. Philip - July 9, 2007

I thought I responded to this way back when. Perhaps it was another dryer blog post by another blogger.

I’m doing the easiest things first: the vent hose, etc. Mostly marveling at what I’m finding. Sharpies, marbles, coins, bracelets, socks, undergarments, and dust bunnies that are nearing the leap to sentience.

12. Doug McCaughan - July 9, 2007

I had lots of dryer posts so you probably did. I’m going to jinx myself here but I am surprised at how much life we have been able to stretch from our dryer.

13. Reality Me » Drying Clothes 24/7 is hard on these machines! - September 16, 2007

[…] Here we go again! […]


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